“Then he took the five loaves and the two
fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed
them, and brake, and gave to the disciples
to set before the multitude” (Luke 9:16).
broke the bread and gave it to the disciples
to distribute to the multitude. Amazingly,
the few loaves were multiplied in the hands
of Jesus and were more than enough to feed
disciples had suggested to Jesus that He
send the folks away so they could buy food.
The day was late and they had been with
Jesus for hours; no doubt they were hungry.
The disciples had no idea that what they
needed was in their midst. Instead, they
were ready to dismiss the multitude, not
realizing their potential to meet that
need. Of course, the disciples were hungry
too, and expected their lack to offer
nothing to the situation.
are needy, our vision sees only what we
lack. What can we contribute to others when
we have such a great shortage ourselves?
This parable wasn’t just about food. While
it did meet the immediate problem, it was
far deeper and spanned a wider truth than
just the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
feel that we have nothing to assist our
fellow travelers on this homeward
pilgrimage. We are barely able to keep up
with ourselves; our load is heavy. Jesus
would have us look at this parable and see
that we are not in this alone. Sure, we
ourselves are needy; and our basket
contains only a small loaf and a little
fish. Our first impulse is to feed
ourselves, and if by chance there are
leftovers, we will share.
mindset is just the opposite of what Jesus
was teaching His disciples. They could have
kept the loaves and fishes and sent the
people away to fend for themselves, but
Jesus had another plan. Break and share.
We don’t like the idea of being broken; we
avoid it whenever possible. Don’t
misunderstand and think we break ourselves.
It is not our nature to humble ourselves.
It takes brokenness to bring us to
humility. The Lord knows how to keep us
through brokenness and bring us into
usefulness with something to share.
We are first broken, made useable, and then
we have something to give to those the Lord
puts in our path. When the bread passed
through Jesus’ hands, it was broken. It
lost its original shape and took on a new
form crafted by the master’s hand.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature [creation]: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become
new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
cross is an example. Actually, it began
before the cross. Jesus, the Son of God,
was rejected, tortured, murdered and
considered an outlaw; but through that
brokenness, He became our Salvation! The
Bible tells us that He learned
he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by
the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
how we, too, learn obedience. We don’t have
to wound ourselves like some pagans do,
thinking their god will like them better.
Life itself will provide lessons; some we
will pass, some we will fail; but we are
learning through them. The Lord allows
them, because He knows the results will
cause us to become more like Him.
if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we
suffer with him, that we may be also
glorified together” (Romans 8:17).
we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if
we deny him, he also will deny us” (2
don’t always recognize the testing and the
God-allowed suffering. We complain and try
to figure a way out when what we need is to
allow the Holy Spirit to lead us through
it. The Psalmist knew this when he said “I
will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning
the fiery trial which is to try you, as
though some strange thing happened unto you”
(1 Pete 4:12).
like the multitude that Jesus was
teaching—hungry with only a mite’s worth to
feed you? Is your heart hungry to ease the
burden of those you love bent beneath heavy
loads, but you don’t think you have anything
to lighten and share their burden?
allow Jesus to break us like the small
loaves and fishes, reshape us after His
image and pass us around to those He
determines that we can “feed.” It may not
seem like much, but it might be just what is
needed to save them! Jesus said He was the
Bread of Life; He was broken to redeem us.
Now with His Spirit living in us, we can
share that broken bread that will sustain
someone who might die without it. Remember
the verse at the beginning: After Jesus had
broken the five loaves and two fishes—He
gave portions to the disciples for
be portions crafted by the Master’s hand,
distributors of the Bread of Life!